Yes, the headline is “click-baity,” but that doesn’t make it any less true.
The argument against the recent changes to the bid night and pledging procedures and the argument for the legalization of marijuana are essentially the same. Advocates for the legalization of marijuana would argue that if people are already using marijuana, that it is in the best interest of a society to regulate its usage to cut down on the ancillary negatives which accompany any item supplied by a black market. When there is demand for something, which the government or other regulatory body has banned, supply will develop to meet that demand. However, with that will come less regulation leading to consumer safety being put in jeopardy.
In the same vein of thought, pledging and “hazing” activities will take place regardless of any decision by Tom Craig and should be regulated as best they can be, to cut down on egregious and real instances of hazing.
Furthermore, the recent actions undertaken by the Office of Student Life will potentially have negative consequences for student safety. By fostering a culture which seeks to vilify the pledging process and those involved, the Office of Student Life will find that students will be leery of reporting legitimate and over the line hazing.
I understand the new guidelines seek to serve the noble cause of “promoting student safety,” however, does anyone actually believe this will change anything? Are students asking that their safety be promoted in such a way? Clubs which want to pledge outside of the guidelines still will; while at the same time, clubs that weren’t to blame in the first place will be stifled by the restrictions.
As someone who plans to pledge this fall, I’d be surprised if I weren’t hazed to some degree. Frankly, I hope I am hazed. I understand it’s a part of the process and I look forward to it. Students who pledge certain clubs know what they are signing up for. Nobody walks into pledging blind or incapable of making their own decisions.
Why not regulate what you can, while accepting that students who are 19 and 20 years old can make decisions for their own well-being? Instead, it seems that the Office of Student Life has decided to pretend hazing and pledging activities outside of the new guidelines would never happen while neglecting to foster a culture of accountability.
Perhaps, the Office of Student Life should have “joint” meetings with each club to “hash out” this complicated issue. Maybe then the Office of Student Life could stop being such a “drag” on campus life.